This talk will address urban inequality, a major issue in megacities of the Global South, broached through the challenges to achieve inclusive cities and sustainable habitat for all. To do so, we focus on the place of slums in the city and on their treatment by the state in the Indian capital city. Do slum policies implemented in Delhi alleviate the problem of the shortage of decent housing for the urban poor, and/or to what extent do they also aggravate their situation? This is the provocative interrogation and guiding thread throughout our research that questions Delhi’s path towards an (illusive) slum-free city.
Further, we use the case of an emblematic slum redevelopment project, that of Kathputli Colony, to examine in particular the current strategy. This case is emblematic as a pioneer in-situ rehabilitation project under public-private partnership, that bodes for a game-changer in the context of Delhi. Its importance is also in the sheer size of the affected population, some 20,000 people displaced between 2014 and 2017, most of whom have been temporarily resettled in a transit camp, where they are still awaiting their final rehabilitation. The scrutiny of the Kathputli Colony case as both a recipient and an analyser of urban policies implemented in Delhi is used as a magnifying lens to better understand the forces of urban change in an aspiring global city.